In general, I’ve never really had to do any maintenance work on Windows 7. I’ve never had to go through my hard drive and see what’s taking up space and slowing things down. I’ve never manually had to perform a disk defragment, or even used the disk clean up tool. Windows 7 just seems to take care of itself. It pretty much does all these things automatically without you ever knowing.
But inevitably, your desktop will start to become cluttered, things get messy. You’ve new folders everywhere, shortcuts going nowhere and a bunch of old useless programs wasting unnecessary space.
Generally I’m pretty good at tidying up my desktop as I go, but this week I decided to put everything else to one side and clean up my laptop.
The first question I had to ask myself was whether or not I completely wipe my laptop and install a fresh copy of Windows 7. It wouldn’t take me too long and it would leave me with a fresh squeaky clean desktop to start fresh with.
However I eventually decided against this. Why?
Well firstly because my laptop originally ran Windows Vista when I bought it, the drivers weren’t designed for Windows 7. The vast majority of them work without any problems, but it did take me quite a while to find all the appropriate drivers, some had had new Windows 7 versions of them released, but not all of them. I didn’t particularly want to go through this process again in case some of those drivers weren’t available anymore.
Secondly I’ve a lot of programs and files, and while the majority of them are backed up, it would take too long to reinstall everything again
So instead of wiping my system what did I do?
I’ve used this program for ages, it’s basically an uninstaller but it does a much better job than the built in Windows uninstaller. It gives you a list of all the programs installed on your system, and allows you to run their uninstaller, then once that’s finished the program will automatically scan your system and registry for any leftover files and entries, it will then ask you if you want to remove them. This way the program you had installed isn’t leaving any leftover rubbish behind it.
(Revo used to be free and I still have that version, now it’s only available in a limited trial version and then you have to pay for it)
Organised My Folders
The libraries in Windows 7 make it much easier to organise all your files and folders. Up until recently I didn’t take full advantage of this and ended up leaving half of my folders on my desktop. So this week a spent a good hour just sorting everything out, deleting useless folders and putting everything in its place.
Now it’s much easier and quicker to find what I’m looking for and everything just looks tidier and neater.
I regularly check what’s loading at start up and slowing down my system. Go to Start -> then type MSCONFIG will allow you to see what’s starting up. I went through this yet again only to discover more start up entries that I didn’t want there.
The next thing I did was clean up the registry. Most users never actually do anything to their registry, it’s all the software and programs they install that mess around with it. Overtime it becomes messy and grows enormously and can be the home to many nasty viruses. I cleaned mine up with CCleaner and as usual it found a ton of unneeded registry entries which I then got it to clean up.
CCleaner also has a couple of other tools in it to help clean up your system[Download not found]
And finally, the last thing I did was run a disk defrag. I used the built in Windows defrag program for this. (Start -> Disk Defragmenter)Windows 7 automatically runs these but sometimes the schedule set up might not suit so it never gets done. I also reckoned that after messing around with so many files,folders and registry entries that things might need to be rearranged a little. ( that’s why I saved it to last ) It took about an hour to do and after that I was finished and ready to go again.
So that’s the process I followed cleaning up Windows 7 on my laptop this week. What do you guys normally do? Any suggestions for me and the rest of our readers?
Let us know in the comments below